A Plethora of Stories in Motion

· 31.July.2021

My name is Srideep Banerjee. I am a 20 year old resident of West Bengal, India. I am currently pursuing B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering. Besides photography, I tend to align myself more towards the world of art, painting, crafting, cinematography, and being submerged in the world of music and movies. I like a range of music and movies from the 80’s classics to present day rock and pop music. I do have a special love for reading books on crime , thrillers as well as classic novels.

I am passionate about photography and art in general since I was a child. Every time I had the opportunity to go to a new place like a school trip or  with my parents, I took my small camera, and I captured everything. I always loved to photograph the life of people, and I still find them fascinating today. Over the course of time I took it as a medium to express what I felt and could not make up the right words for it.

“Backstage” / © Sirdeep Banerjee

Street photography is uniquely addictive. Once I had the hang of it, now I see daily activities whether indoor or outdoor with the perspective of street. Going out and interacting with people while capturing the very essence of their life, it allows me to be one of them, without looking like just a photographer looking for ideas to enrich his portfolio.

“Caught in the Current” / © Sirdeep Banerjee

My biggest mentor and influence from the day I decided to hold a camera is my sister, Sanghamitra Bhattacharya who is a photographer herself. Her love for photography and her pictures used to fascinate me and does so till date. She plays an important role behind my unfettered inquisitiveness in this field. Other than her, I really like the work of Steve McCurry, Raghu Rai, and other pioneers. I am open to new ideas all the time because everyone’s perspective is quite different when it comes to street photography because it is so dynamic, so for me there is no perfect photo for a street, multiple angles, multiple POV can provide multiple pictures, each one unique.

“Face Painting” / © Sirdeep Banerjee

For me the major element in a street photograph is the action at that moment. Light and shadows are the added cherry on the cake without which the perfect picture is incomplete. Colour in streets is debatable, I feel some pictures need colour to express themselves while some need to be in black and white to communicate.

“Pre-Cyclone” / © Sirdeep Banerjee

I always try to shoot people at their best sides in order to embrace and highlight them. The type of pictures I take is influenced by many street photographers over time on one hand, and self improvising on the other to not make a replica of a previously clicked image. I’m usually looking for the right composition and wait for the subject to just not enter the frame but also engage in some activity. My main subject is often a person or an animal in motion because that creates a total atmosphere whereby the viewer is given multiple perspectives of what might actually be going on in that frame.

“Festive Streets” / © Sirdeep Banerjee

I usually try not to be noticeable, but sometimes I do clash into some disagreements which is fair enough given the people here do not want to be documented for some reason. Besides being yelled at, or being frowned upon, nothing ever really happened to me. I noticed that most of the time, people just don’t care but when the show their disgust, a smile goes a long way or if they want the picture to be deleted make sure it gets done. While shooting in the streets of West Bengal can be refreshing and help provide fresh perspective, there is always a chance of not getting what you hoped for, so the key that I have learned is to wait for a few moments and fruitful results might be at your hand.

“Precaution” / © Sirdeep Banerjee

Now in this time where we are forced into captivity due to the pandemic, I have learned that the actions that we chase in the streets can be chased within the four walls of our home. Just paying attention to the details and activities that the family member does and the kind of light that plays inside your home the entire morning can come in handy in shooting street photographs.

“Morning Walk” / © Sirdeep Banerjee

I use a Fujifilm X-T100 with the XC15-45mm F3.5-5.6 lens. After thorough research, I learned about the type of cameras produced by Fujifilm and how it fits my description of a perfect camera, so without any hesitation I opted for it. The ease for focusing and the dynamic and precision of the colour that it catches makes it stand out. The light weight and the compact build of this camera makes it worthwhile to carry in the streets and often shoot the moment without disrupting the subject or making the subject feel over cautioned in the presence of a lens pointing at him or her.

“Winter Story” / © Sirdeep Banerjee

Being an amateur, in this vast learning field, I wish to learn more and grow more and inspire people. I will always be thankful to the people who taught me and is still helping me.

“Fear” / © Sirdeep Banerjee